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Soft Matter Mechanics, Physics, and Devices

Ying Li, University of Connecticut

Qiming Wang, University of Southern California

Xueju "Sophie" Wang, University of Connecticut

Polymers, gels, and many biological materials are soft materials, which can be easily deformed by thermal stress or thermal fluctuations. In particular, the mechanical and physical properties of soft materials originate from the interplay of phenomena at different spatial and temporal scales. Simultaneously considering these behaviors at different scales is a forbidden challenge, even with state-of-the-art supercomputing or experimental facilities. As such, it is necessary to formulate multiscale theoretical, computational, or experimental techniques when dealing with soft materials in order to account for all the important mechanisms. This Symposium will address recent experimental, computational, and theoretical advances in this burgeoning field.

Topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

Mechanics and Physics of Multifunctional Polymers, such as tough hydrogels and elastomers, self-healing polymers, mechanochemically responsive polymers, covalently adaptable polymers, photo-responsive polymers, electromagnetically responsive polymers, and biodegradable and recyclable polymers.

Mechanics and Physics of Soft Materials, such as stimuli-responsive polymers and gels, instabilities in soft materials, fracture, adhesion, and healing in soft materials, multiphysics phenomena in soft materials, soft biological and bio-inspired materials, 3D/4D printing and fabrication of soft materials, and soft robotics or machines.

Advances in Polymer Modeling and Simulations, such as novel atomic, meso/micro, and macroscale simulation methods and techniques.

Design and Manufacturing of Soft Material Devices, such as design concept and methodology of soft matter devices with novel properties and functionalities, advanced manufacturing of soft matter devices, computational modeling, design optimization, and controls.

The goal of this Symposium is to bring together researchers with a variety of backgrounds to exchange ideas, identify, and address grand challenges, and to initiate new areas of research.